Nadine Dorries Says Tories Would Face 'Complete Wipeout' In A General Election Tomorrow

She did not completely rule out Boris Johnson making a return to No.10, saying it was "extremely unlikely".
Nadine Dorries
Nadine Dorries
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Nadine Dorries has warned that the Tories would face a “complete wipeout” if there was a general election tomorrow.

The former culture secretary, who chose to return to the backbenches when Liz Truss took the reins at No.10, said on Sunday: “We don’t need a disruptor, we need a unifier.”

Dorries, who backed Truss for leader, also did not completely rule out Boris Johnson attempting to return as prime minister, saying it was “extremely unlikely”.

It comes after Dorries accused Truss’ government of “lurching to the right” and leaving the door to the centre ground “wide open” for Labour leader Keir Starmer.

Dorries said Truss was imposing libertarian ideology on the party and the country when “no one has actually voted for that”, in an interview with The Times.

In her latest intervention, she told Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg: “Can I just clarify, I’m still one of Liz’s biggest supporters, but you have to put that into the context - the fact that we are 30 points behind Labour in the polls.

“If there was a general election tomorrow, that would probably mean a complete wipeout for the Conservative Party.

“I think now is the time - while we have a new prime minister and a new administration - to reflect on what’s gone wrong and what we need to do to put that right and to reverse that poll deficit. That must be our absolute priority at the moment.”

Asked if there should be a general election or MPs should remove Truss if she refuses to change course, Dorries said Truss needed to be a “unifier”.

She added: “I think probably that the new prime minister has realised that over the last few weeks.”

Pressed on what should happen if Truss does not return to the 2019 manifesto, Dorries said: “The simple principle of our democracy and our unwritten constitution is that if you’re going to have a completely fresh mandate, a completely fresh set of policy ideas and a new prime minister, it would be right to go to the country.

“Liz doesn’t need to do that. And I really hope she won’t do that when we’re 30 points behind in the polls.”

MPs are said to be plotting an attempt to bring Johnson back to Downing Street if Labour maintains its lead in the opinion polls, according to the Daily Mail.

MPs in the “Red Wall” seats won by the Tories in 2019 are reportedly discussing ripping up party rules to return him to No.10 in the spring if the party remains more than 20 points behind Labour.

Dorries, a close ally of Johnson, said the “only message” from him was to “back Liz”.

Asked about a potential return, she added: “For that to happen, there is no process for that to happen.

“And I think it would take a bizarre reversal of what normally happens. Instead of Graham Brady going to see him with a revolver, I think he’d need to go see him with an olive branch.

“I think it’s something Conservative MPs would have to really want but at the moment I can tell you it’s not even something Boris Johnson is thinking about.”

Pressed on whether it could happen, she added: “I have been in politics a long time. I don’t rule anything out. But I would say it is highly, extremely, unlikely.”


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